I was visiting a men's clothing store the other day and I noted a gentleman who I have seen there quite awhile. He was working and helping customers, but I noticed he was not wearing his usual suit and tie. He sported a look that said (to me) that it must be his off day or he came in to get his check and decided to stop and help someone in need or a client he usually helped.
When he was finished, I asked him about his new casual look. I expected to get the response similar to what I was assuming. Instead I got a response that made me cringe. He proceeded to tell me that the company told them that at the first of the year suits were no longer required. He said they told him to do this because the clientele would most likely not be wearing a suit when they came in and that they should have a more relaxed atmosphere and feel in how they dressed. He then told me he has worn a suit every day for the many years he has been there and to be dressed this way didn't feel like he was at work. He didn't like it one bit. I would have taken it as a "old dog, new tricks" kind of thing but to be honest...I didn't like it either.
I go into this store that has nice suits and good men's wear and I want to see people who wear what I'm looking at and know what they are talking about. I don't want to see a person who looks like they are ready to hit the links in a few minutes. I wondered why this bugged me so much and then it hit me...
They were lowering their standards to suit other people.
Now, I understand this is a retail store and they want to attract clients, but to what end and at what sacrifice? I then mentally transferred this to you and me. So many times we may feel that we need to be someone for someone else. In certain cases that is true but more often than not that is seen in our actions toward others and as long as we remain true to our selves and our standards we are OK.
Think about it this way: You find a person you want to get to know. Dating, friends...whatever. You come to them as yourself. You have a set of values and ideals and they do too and the connection begins. While there may be adjustments to one another, we do have standards that make us who we are and these are those things we don't compromise on. Integrity, honesty, etc. We don't lower those standards for anything.
Unfortunately, the world around us keeps lowering the standards. Whether it's in schools or in expectations of winning and losing, to even how we dress. It's a slippery slope when we start lowering a higher standard and level of thinking. Some people allow themselves to be effected to the point of lowering their standards just to "get the deal" or be accepted or whatever. I control one person...me. I am responsible for one person...me. If I compromise on me, then am I not a lesser me?
My main point is clear...don't lower your standards. Don't compromise those things that matter to you. Others may make fun of what matters to you or whatever, but these are your standards. Don't change them for others. If you compromise in any area, compromise up (if you get my meaning) to a better level of yourself. Never compromise down.
My mentor and friend Brendon states it best in his 12 minute video. Take the time to listen and maybe learn something new to better you in 2016: